This weeks ‘Women We Love’ is Award Winning Presenter Lucy Kennedy, who is both a tonic and a pleasure to chat with. Known for her roles in both Irish radio and television as a presenter with a unique charm and panache met with an abundance of good humour.
She currently works in Radio Nova on the The Colm and Lucy Show. And has just hinted at a new TV show coming very soon. I sat with Lucy to find out more about how she got her start in media, her work-life balance and her journey so far. Oh and the rumours are true, Lucy kennedy is one of the nicest people you will ever meet! It is no wonder she continues to go from strength to strength in her career.
The nation warmed to you Lucy, when you came to prominence around 2006 as the take no BS lead woman for RTÉ’s hilarious misdemeanor puppets Podge and Rodge, and you’ve been on one hell of a roll ever since, how would you describe that journey from the genesis to now and just how did you get your start working within the media industry?
I started off doing the Bill Keating course in Tv production and Presenting 18 years ago!!! I then started working behind the scenes of tv productions and worked my way up. I went from being a runner to a production manager, working long hours but enjoying every single second.
One day I got a phone call to audition for a dating show host, so I went for it and shockingly I got it!!! That was called the Ex-Files which I filmed 14 years ago I’ve never looked back!!!
Is being on camera/behind the mic and in the public eye something you always saw yourself doing?
I had the most patient careers guidance teacher in Europe!!!! Literally every week I would change my mind. I generally alternated between being a pilot, journalist and teacher!!!
As a female member of one of the most male driven industries, what challenges did you face getting your career off the ground? And what challenges do you still face, if any?
I don’t face any more challenges than anyone else to be honest. I’ve never let the pressure in.
I’ve also always been in the lucky position of earning the same or more than male colleagues so I can’t complain. As one of three girls in our family and a proud hardworking woman, I’m a big advocate in supporting other women. I think we’re all doing our best, on whatever ever path we’ve chosen.
Lets go back to 2006 for a moment… Through all the challenges of gender inequality that women have faced in the last decade, it is clear to see that you have always been unashamed and indeed unafraid to be yourself: a smart, blunt at times, forward, straight talking, kind and super funny woman who was way ahead of the female empowerment movements. What do you make of the changes that have occurred from when you set off on your career path and now for women working in media roles?
I haven’t seen any change because I haven’t changed!!!
I’ve always behaved in the right manner, minded my own business and surrounded myself by like-minded people. I’ve never felt in any way vulnerable in this business.
You have beautiful children. ‘Mom guilt’ is a phenomenon many women with high-powered and busy jobs have been vocal about. How have you experienced this? What are your views on this?
My babies are my world. I truly believe that when you give birth, you also give birth to guilt!!! But do you know what, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
I’ve found a happy balance in the last three years where I work around my children and only present tv shows that suit our family life.
I present a brekkie show on Radio NOVA with my pal Colm Hayes Monday – Thursday and then We film ‘Living with Lucy’ every 4th weekend. All doable.
Of all the shows & events you’ve worked at, which has been the most memorable experience and why?
Living with Katie Hopkins was interesting!!!!! But I’d say visiting the Galápagos Islands with ‘No Frontiers’ was my most exciting project to date.
What advice would you offer young women aspiring to fulfil a career in broadcasting and presenting?
Go for it. Don’t hold back. Remain loyal to who you are. Never change. Start studying media and always always be nice!!!! It’s a tiny industry and only the nice people last!!!!
If you hadn’t pursued working in tv and presenting on radio as a career what do you think you would have done?
I think psychotherapy. I did a foundation course in it but then went on to present tv shows. I loved it and probably will go back and study properly when our smallies are older. Dr Kennedy!!!!
It is so important that women inspire and allow each other to grow together through mutual support. What women in Ireland, as well as Irish women abroad, do you most admire whom you feel inspire you today?
I don’t look up to any famous faces, I look up to woman who are doing it all and making a difference. Like Vicky Phelan.
Apart from the strong females in my family, I’d admire any woman who stands her ground, looks after her family and works hard.
Lucy, you are known for your effortless style and bubbly sense of humour that infects your audience and engage your social media followers. What mantras/mindfulness do you use to cleanse the mind of negative thoughts and keep positive?
I do yoga. Once a week. The only time where I’m not allowed to talk!!!!
I really enjoy it and love feeling bendy afterwards. Also, Sometimes, I jump into bed for a cheeky nap after Radio Nova and before the school run.
Those 30 min naps, keep me alive and sane!!!!!!
What has been your proudest career moment to date? And what are your goals for 2019?
Proudest moment was getting the presenting job on Ireland’s Got Talent. I had lots of talented competitors so I was thrilled that they chose me!!!! I’ve watched BGT for years and like everyone else, I adore Ant and Dec, so it’s a real pleasure. Right up my street.
What is your morning routine to get you through the working day?
Tea. I have to have a strong Cup of Barry’s tea with milk and a hot shower. Then I’m ready to face anything!!
Where are your favourite places to eat and drink in Dublin?
What are your favourite ways to keep fit?
My three children!!! Jess is two now so on the go. Chasing her is keeping the weight off!!!! I also walk, I really love walking.
What are your top three beauty essentials?
Vaseline ( I’m obsessed)
Extra black Mascara (It improves every look)
Eminence moisturiser. (Does wonders)
Favourite gadget and why?
iPhone. How did we cope without it!!! I use it for my emails, everything!!! But like most people, I’m probably on it too often and am consciously making an effort to look at it less.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Early bird!!!! If I go out, I like to start at 6 and be back, cleansed and in my bed, in cozy pjs at midnight!!!
Your greatest food pleasure?
Tricky one because I’m a biiiiiiiig foodie. I literally eat everything and anything. BUT my greatest food pleasure has to be……. Spicey chicken wings with a blue cheese sauce. Heaven.
If you could tell your 16 year-old self anything, what would it be?
Don’t sweat it. You’ll be alright. You’re a nice person so will always be okay. Follow your heart……
Can you share any exciting plans you have in the pipeline?
I have lots of plans. I have a new tv show which is a secret and I’m writing a book!!! No rest for the wicked they say!!! Busy busy but very happy. I’m a lucky girl , I’m doing what I love, surrounded by people that I love.